Mosquito attack at the pond

Dazel had fallen asleep as soon as she arrived at her pond home after meeting her best friends Din Din and Delma at the lake. The three best friends had had a long, yet, eventful day playing water games. When Dazel returned to her pond she was exhausted and fell asleep instantly.

Suddenly, Dazel was startled from her slumber by an annoying buzzing sound. Her eyes flew open. Swain the swan who was sleeping beside also seemed to have woken up. The frog families who inhabited the pond opened their sleepy eyes too.

"What was that irritating noise?" grumbled Ribbit, the young frog, in a drowsy voice. Dazel looked around and as her eyes adjusted to the midnight darkness, she could see swarms of small insects flying around the pond.

"Mosquitoes," explained Grandfather Frog with a yawn. "Go back to sleep all of you. Its summer time and these mosquitoes are sure to bother us this summer."

But sleep had been driven away due to the annoying buzzing sound and stings of the mosquitoes.

The next morning the usually chirpy Dazel was grouchy and sleepy.

"The mosquitoes are to blame!" Dazel told Swain with a frown. "I don't understand why this summer so many mosquitoes have chosen to live near our pond?"

Just then, Grandfather Frog joined them at the edge of the pond. "There ‘is’ a reason why the mosquitoes have begun to bother us this year."

"What's that?" chimed in Dazel and Swain in unison.

"The Citronella grass which used to grow around this area was removed to make way for the extension of the Aviary School early this year," explained Grandfather Frog.

"The Citronella grass? What's that?" asked Ribbit as he leapt onto a nearby lily pad and also joined the conversation.

"The Citronella used to give off a distinct aroma which acted as a natural mosquito repellent," replied Grandfather Frog. "Now that it’s not there, the mosquitoes are free to visit and bother us."

"Who had the bright idea of chopping off the Citronella grass?" asked Swain angrily. "Now these mosquitoes will bother us throughout the summer months."

"The woodpeckers were responsible for the extension of the Aviary School boundaries," said Dazel. "I remember Wiz Rooster was not in favour of cutting off any vegetation when the extension was going on but the woodpeckers did not listen." "And now we have to suffer!" said Swain mournfully. "I can't bear to think of another night with the mosquitoes buzzing around and biting us."

"Well, fear not dears. There are many other plants which are natural mosquito repellents," said Grandfather Frog.

"Horsemint gives off a strong incense-like odor which confuses mosquitoes; marigold contains Pyrethrum and has a distinctive smell which mosquitoes find distasteful. Ageratum and catnip are also plants which fend off mosquitoes."

"But where do we find these plants and how will we manage to make them grow quickly and in large quantities so that the mosquitoes will stay away?" asked Swain.

"Let's ask Din Din. Maybe his garden has any one of these plants which will help keep mosquitoes away," suggested Ribbit.

"Din Din is supposed to have left for the waterfalls this morning with his family for the summer break. They have gone with the other dinosaurs for a week," said Dazel shaking her head.

"Well then, we'll just have to find any one of these plants and bring them back here with their roots and replant them," recommended Grandfather Frog.

"Let's ask Burrow the rabbit! He's also a gardener and has a lot of varieties of plants in his gardens," said Dazel.

So Dazel and Swain set off to find Burrow the rabbit. Unfortunately, the rabbit was not to be found anywhere.

"Now what?" said Dazel as they stood at the edge of Burrow's garden in the evening.

"This means another terrible night with the mosquitoes," sighed Swain.

That particular night the number of mosquitoes seemed to have multiplied. Dazel tried to swat the mosquitoes with her wings; Swain tried to attack them with his beak; the frogs tried to eat them but the mosquitoes just laughed and buzzed and bothered them all the more.

The next morning Dazel went to visit Wiz Rooster and explained their problem.

"Oh! The mosquitoes are a pesky lot! I can imagine how irritated you all must be," answered Wiz Rooster. "I know where Horsemint grows. It's near a sunny, coastal area a little far away but if you and Swain fly off right now, you might be back by nightfall."

Dazel and Swain set off to find the sandy coastline patch where horsemint grew. Wiz Rooster had explained that the flowers of horsemint would be light purple and the plant would give off a sharp fragrance which would help them recognize it. When the two birds reached the coast they saw the waves crashing against the rocks. The sea was turbulent and the tides were high.

"I have never seen the sea so angry," said Dazel to Swain.

The salt spray seemed to drench them as the birds hunted for Horsemint. Suddenly, Dazel spotted vegetation. The two birds flew towards the plantation. They soon spotted plants with purple flowers which exuded a sharp scent.

After hours of gently pecking at the soil they managed to remove some of the Horsemint plants with its roots. They carried it with them carefully and flew home. By the time they were back at the pond it was night and they were exhausted.

They were too weary to plant the Horsemint that night but the thought of another sleepless night kept them awake and with the help of the frog family the pond dwellers planted the Horsemint carefully.

That night the pond creatures were alert with the expected attack of the mosquitoes. At midnight, they saw a swarm buzz towards the lake. But just as the mosquitoes neared the area where the Horsemint had been planted, the insects stopped. Swiftly, they made a speedy retreat.

When the pond creatures saw this, they let out a cheer of joy and victory. "Hurrah! Hurrah!" cried the frogs. "Thank you Dazel and Swain. You are our heroes!"

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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